Conducting car maintenance can be both a do-it-yourself (DIY) thing and a matter best left to the caring hands of professional mechanics. Given that cars are valuable investments, car owners are always encouraged to practice proper car maintenance, but it can’t be helped that errors may set in (we're all human right?).
To ensure that your car doesn’t turn out to be an investment gone bad, you must exercise responsibility in taking good care of it, especially during maintenance work. Here are the five most common instances where car maintenance mistakes take place. Read on to find out what to avoid and how to deal with them moving forward.
- Taking the smallest things for granted
Always remember that even the most seemingly-insignificant things matter a lot when it comes to car maintenance. From conducting proper engine startups to replacing old wipers, paying attention to mundane details allows your car to last longer. That’s the reason why some motorists tend to encounter problems with their cars early on – they think that the smallest issues won’t transpire to bigger ones as they neglect them.
- Neglecting the air filter
Don’t think of the air filter as a component that can be dealt with just by cleaning it. Replacing your car’s air filter is something that you must do on a regular basis – once it accumulates too much dirt, then that’s the time to make the right move. Air filters are pretty much generic in form and are easily available in any auto parts store, so those who have allowed their cars to choke in performance through dirty air filters would’ve gotten away had they been more responsible.
- Skipping on inspecting car fluids
Several motorists have compromised their cars’ performance simply because they neglected the importance of replenishing the various fluids their cars have. Another issue of note is the need for changing engine oil – some motorists have experienced the worst in the form of engine damage simply because they overlooked such process. To make sure your car gets to perform better as it steers away from component damage,
- Overlooking brake pads
Having a case of bad brakes can never be part of good news for every motorist. Most of the time, unreplaced brake pads have led to greater problems attributed to the integrity of steering systems. In other words, not replacing your brake pads exposes your car to greater risks – the worst being crashes caused by faulty brakes. For that, make sure to replace your car’s brake pads the moment they start showing untenable wear and tear.
- Overlooking tire conditions
There are several things that can happen when you neglect your car’s tires, the most common being tire blowouts and loss of vehicular control leading to crashes. If you fail to have your tires rotated or inflated according to the right pressure, then chances are that those dire consequences can take place with greater possibility. Never ignore your car’s tires – see if they’re in tip-top shape to see if they’re fit for the standard idea of safe travels.
- Driving with an overheated engine
Why some drivers still insist on driving with their engine compartment already smoking is a question no one has the answer to (they'll try to give you an answer but it just doesn't make sense). Obviously, an overheated engine should prompt you to stop driving already, lest you wish to flirt with the idea of your car getting caught in flames. In case of engine overheating, dial for roadside assistance or a towing service.
- Proceeding with DIY without proper knowledge
Again, car maintenance is truly a DIY thing. But in cases where you do not have the proper know-how, you should not risk doing things on your own. When in doubt, always call for roadside assistance should you find yourself at a standstill in the middle of the road. Also, keep numbers of professional technicians who can inspect your car and restore it to full health.
- Ignoring your windshield wipers
It is always easy to take the smallest things for granted, and even veteran car owners can make this mistake. In most cases, windshield wipers can easily be overlooked as their replacement tends to be the least concern of some car owners. But as time passes, windshield wipers become more brittle, leading it to leave unwanted stains on your windshield during use. For that, it always pays for you to have time to check your windshield wipers and see if they should be replaced.
- Neglecting your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning light
Your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning light indicates whether your tires need to have their tire pressure increased. Unless you wish to experience how having a tire blowout feels like, you should not risk ignoring your TPMS warning light the moment it lights up. Bring your car to the nearest service center to have your tire pressure increased, or you may do so on your own with the proper equipment and know-how.
- Disregarding the Check Engine warning light
Sure, your car may still operate normally with your Check Engine warning light already glaring on your dashboard. But the thing is, you should never keep your complacency high when your Check Engine warning light starts lighting up. Take your car to the nearest service center for a checkup, or prepare yourself with some essential diagnostic tools if you wish to deal with that through DIY in the future.